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Drinking water faucets at CDCs and schools on base to be tested for lead

25 Sep 2014 | Sgt. Rebekka S. Heite Marine Corps Base Quantico

In February 2014 Marine Corps Installations Command ordered the testing for lead of all drinking fountains and sinks used to fill water bottles at both Child Development Centers; the youth/teen center; Ashurst, Burrows and Russell elementary schools; and Quantico Middle/High School by Dec. 31. This was issued in compliance with a Marine Corps memo which directed the adoption of the Environmental Protection Agency’s 3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools/Child Care Facilities.

The 2013 Drinking Water Quality Reports confirmed that all three main sources of drinking water on Marine Corps Base Quantico are below the EPA and Virginia Department of Health regulations that limit the amount of certain contaminants in drinking water systems.

"There is no reason to presume there are elevated levels of lead or other metals in the drinking water at Quantico," said Joseph D. Provenzano, deputy director, Installations and Environment Division. "This testing program is a prudent measure that safeguards water quality. While the sources of Quantico’s water continue to maintain lead levels below or well below EPA regulations, lead found in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and plumbing fixtures."

This sampling, which will include approximately 500 faucets, is scheduled to be conducted in the upcoming weeks to determine lead levels which may have entered into the water due to corrosion of the plumbing fixtures, such as pipes, solder and faucets. Should the testing reveal any of the faucets to have elevated lead concentrations, they will be marked as non-potable and/or shut off to prevent any use until the source of the contamination can be found and corrected. Marine Corps Base has the responsibility to correct issues at the CDCs; the DOD School System has the responsibility to correct issues in the Base schools.

All collected samples will be tested by Test America, the first laboratory company to be accredited by the Department of Defense Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program and has been in effect since
Oct. 1, 2009. There are currently 11 Test America laboratories active in the program.

This testing will be repeated every five years at all Marine Corps CDCs, DOD elementary schools and secondary schools.

Once test results are received, parents/guardians will be directly notified of the results by letter and all results of testing will be available at each CDC and school.

More information regarding drinking water contaminants and potential health effects can be found by calling 1-800-426-4791 or by visiting Specific Consumer Confidence Reports can be found at:

— Correspondent:

Marine Corps Base Quantico